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Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 27 March 1936 (USA)
While visiting the circus with his family, Charlie is recruited by the big top's co-owner to investigate threatening letters that he's received.

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(original screen play), (original screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
George Brasno ...
Tim
Olive Brasno ...
...
John Gaines
Maxine Reiner ...
Marie Norman
John McGuire ...
Hal Blake
Shirley Deane ...
Louise Norman
Paul Stanton ...
Joe Kinney
...
Tom Holt
Boothe Howard ...
Dan Farrell
...
Nellie Farrell
Wade Boteler ...
Police Lt. Macy
Shia Jung ...
Su Toy
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Storyline

Charlie receives fourteen free passes to the circus for him and his entire family but soon realizes that there are strings attached as the big top's co-owner asks his guest to investigate threatening letters that he's received. Before the famous detective can, the man is murdered. Charlie soon finds out that the co-owner was not a particularly pleasant or well-liked individual, and among the many suspects are his partner, a snake charmer and the menagerie's gorilla. Son Lee, usually an enthusiastic assistant for his father, is distracted by the show's beautiful contortionist. Written by duke1029

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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

27 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Charlie Chan no Circo  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 11th of 16 Charlie Chan movies starring Warner Oland. See more »

Goofs

The ape is shown peeling the banana from the top. Primates, except for humans, peel them from the bottom, thus doing away with those pesky stringy bits. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Chan: Curiosity responsible for cat needing nine lives.
See more »

Connections

Follows Charlie Chan's Courage (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A marvelous 'circus' performance!
7 March 2014 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is not 'just' one of Charlie Chan's fascinating, intricate murder cases, but it's also set in very special surroundings: a circus show - and the circus atmosphere here is presented so wonderfully genuine that it really fills every circus fan with nostalgic feelings...

The whole Chan family (14 altogether...) have been invited to see the show by the circus' co-owner Joe Kinney; but not without a reason: he wants to show Charlie some threatening letters he's received. But before the show's even ended, Kinney is found murdered in his wagon - mysteriously bolted from the inside... And Charlie very soon finds out that it could have been almost any member of the circus ensemble who'd have liked to see him dead: he was a mean cheat who threatened to take away his co-owner's shares because the circus wasn't doing too well, he was rude, cruel and PRETTY unpopular with all his staff; and besides that, he was a reckless womanizer who simply used to drop his girl when he'd found another one.

And that was also the case with Nellie Farrell, whom he pushed off to the wardrobe department when he became sweet on trapeze artist Marie - but in the fight for his money, more things come to light: Kinney had been married to Nellie, according to a marriage license the police find in his safe. But Marie knows otherwise; and she promises to tell as soon as she'll have finished her trapeze act - that fact alone automatically makes our hair raise while we're awaiting her daring stunt that she always does without a net...

An incredible amount of suspense and a plot that demands a lot of our 'little gray cells' mixed with a fair amount of humor (son number one, Lee, who never can resist flirting, tries to impress a Chinese contortion artist...) - an unforgettable hour of entertainment and excitement, just like those good old-fashioned circus performances!


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